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FG urges oil & gas operators to leverage capital market for funding


Heineken LokpobiriThe Federal Government (FG) has urged the oil and gas operators to create ingenious ways of raising capital especially leveraging the nation’s capital market to expand their investment and tackle myriads of problems facing the sector.

Minister of States for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri stated this at the Seplat Energy anniversary to commemorate its 10 year of Dual Listing on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) and London Stock Exchange held on Tuesday in Lagos.

Lokpobiri assured that the government would continue to create an enabling environment and regulatory framework for companies to operate in a more conducive manner as prescribed by the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA.

He stated: “We need to solve our problems ourselves; this is the time for us to evolve home grown solutions to solve our energy problems. So, we have to evolve some ingenious ways of raising money, through the capital market. We are committed to sustaining our production in oil and gas but in a more responsible and cleaner way by deploying the best technology.”

Reviewing Seplat Energy’s performance over the last 10 years, chief executive officer of Seplat Energy, Roger Brown said the energy giant generated $1.7 billion in Free Cash Flow (FCF) and invested over $57 million to support community projects, especially in the areas of health care, education and empowerment.

He pointed out that the firm has returned dividends worth $575 million and invested $1.6 billion in capital expenditure in the last 10 years, saying that “our strong cash generation has supported our ambition to expand our business, which has seen us spend an aggregate of $1.6 billion in capex.”

Group Chairman of NGX Group, Alhaji (Dr) Umaru Kwairanga said that since Seplat’s inception in 2009 and dual listing on Nigerian Exchange Limited and London Stock Exchange in 2014, Seplat has emerged as a leading indigenous energy company, deeply integrated into Nigeria’s economic landscape.

Kwairanga pointed out that “the trajectory of its stock price, soaring from N576 at listing to N3,370 today, reflects an astonishing surge of over 480 per cent, underscoring the significant role of the capital market in facilitating funding”.

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